One of my fondest memories or more accurately an accumulation of memories, should I say, is walking home from the cinema either alone or with comrades in tow (brothers, father, friends etc.) As we made our way back home we would regale ourselves with what we had just witnessed, our thoughts and feelings about it all, although these were of a very base level of ‘that was awesome!!’ not something worth your therapists time. In our younger years in particular we would also act out our favorite moments and with perfect execution repeat our favorite quotes which would lead into an unorthodox quote battle. One which would go long beyond the actual length of the walk back, much to my mothers annoyance, who had up until our gate crashing had been enjoying a little time to herself.
We, as kids, were lucky enough to always have cinemas within walking distance of our family home. I’m near certain this was a condition laid out by my father when it came to the whole location, location, location conundrum. As to say my father is an avid walker is the definition of what it is to make an understatement. I’m also near certain that Neil is a synonym of walk, also for those not in the know or didn’t get the inference that’s my fathers name. It does however actually mean, ‘cloud’ or ‘passionate’ FYI which is rather adapt considering the given context.
The walk backs from the cinema allowed us time to carry on living in the moment there was no need to instantly return to normality, the enjoyment could continue. As time passed and I got older but not particularly wiser and as alcohol and ‘partying’ became a thing. The concept of the walk back evolved quite drastically the sugary drinks and snacks may have been replaced by more potent stuff but the exuberance and youthfulness of those earlier journeys home remained if only dialed up ever so slightly. What with someone at some point doing something inappropriate with a traffic cone or attempting to leap an object no more than a foot off the ground and falling flat on their face or getting in to a joke fight that gets so intense you can never remember whether it was ever a joke at all in the first place to name but a few examples of the activities occurred on the walk back when a little somewhat very inebriated. Something about that journey back by foot brings a youthfulness to the surface in people, allowing us to revel in all the events of the night. Be it you’ve spent the evening in the dark, talking to no one or you’ve spent it at the cinema. Yes! Obvious joke per blog, checked! But in all seriousness and when it comes to my own experiences of a night out you have likely spent it in a darkened environment in constant search of a friend or friends depending which side of the coin you are. You’ve likely spent it talking with other people, off making over stories and only in that desperate scramble to find food or to get home are you reunited with your friends. It is a time to revel in everything that has happened, having ensured the safety of your missing friend and the conversations are easy and familiar. The cold air is sobering and everything returns to familiarity and your energies are rejuvenated by this and the scene is set for anything to happen.
My fondest memories remain with those walks back, be it from a night out or from a night at the movies. Pirates of the Caribbean, while a decent film, ranks in much higher echelons for me due to the very walk back such as I have been remarking upon. Humming the theme tune relentlessly, air-sword fighting and excitedly reliving the film in all its goofy, brilliant glory. As sobering as a walk home can be there is a great and in-explainable sense of mystery as to what may happen as the youthful excitement drifts on the sobering winds that slap you in the face as you exit your sanctum of warmth which can’t dampen your spirits no matter how cold or mean said wind may be.